Sprinkler
Sprinklers - Photo courtesy of Kseniia Ilinykh on Unsplash

More than four million residents in Los Angeles County were urged Tuesday to suspend outdoor watering for 15 days next month while the Metropolitan Water District repairs a leak in a water delivery pipeline.

The repairs will take place from Sept. 6-20, and will impact the cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando and Torrance.

Residents in the Central Basin Municipal Water District, Foothill Municipal Water District, Three Valleys Municipal Water District and West Basin Municipal Water District will also be impacted.

Officials discovered a leak in the 36-mile Upper Feeder pipeline, which delivers water from the Colorado River to Southern California, earlier this year. The pipeline was running at a reduced capacity after a temporary repair while officials designed a more permanent solution.

“The temporary fix we have in place has allowed us to operate the pipeline at a reduced capacity over the summer, but it is not intended to last long-term,” MWD General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said at a news conference at Burbank Water and Power’s Ron E. Davis Eco Campus. “We cannot delay this repair any further — doing so risks a failure and the potential for an unplanned, emergency situation.”

Residents and businesses throughout the county were called on to temporarily suspend all outdoor watering, including drip irrigation and hand-watering. The MWD recommends trees and gardens be pre-watered before the shutdown and maintained using water collected from the sink and shower. Additional water-saving tips in preparation for and during the shutdown are available at mwdh2o.com/shutdown.

“During this shutdown, we’ll be tapping into a very limited supply of water to deliver to these communities,” MWD board Chairwoman Gloria Gray said. “So we must eliminate all outdoor water use and do everything else we can to conserve for 15 days. We want to thank residents and businesses in advance for their support and recognizing the water-supply challenges our region faces.”

Officials provided tips to residents prior to the shutdown, including delaying new plantings until after Sept. 20, avoiding fertilizing lawns and plants and turning the sprinkler timer off on the evening of Sept. 5.

“This shutdown has been months in the making,” MWD System Operations Manager Brent Yamasaki said. “Imagine you’ve got a bridge with a pipeline on it, it’s 1,000 feet and it crosses a river. You don’t want to do this in the wintertime when it’s raining. We want to do this now … rest assured we are going to be working 24-7 to get this work done.”

Residents can view a map of affected areas and get more information at mwdh2o.com/projects-in-your-community.

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